What is BMI?

Have you heard body builders at the gym comparing their BMIs? Or do you know someone who is body-obsessed and talks about BMI in every conversation? Here’s why knowing your BMI can be useful to you.

BMI stands for Body Mass Index and is the ratio of a person’s weight to height squared. BMI can be used as a screening tool for body fatness but is not diagnostic. Because the calculation requires only height and weight, it is inexpensive and easy to use for clinicians as well as the general public.

BMI is not a perfect measure because it doesn’t assess body fat directly. Muscle and bone are denser than fat, so an athlete or muscular person might have a high BMI but not have too much fat. For the majority of the adult population, measuring BMI is considered by researchers to be a reliable way to determine whether a person has too much body fat.1

The most basic definition of overweight and obesity is having so much body fat that that it “presents a risk to health.”2 Measuring BMI is a widely used method for clinicians to determine who is overweight or obese. BMI is strongly correlated with metabolism rates and disease risks, which are more direct measures of body fatness.3

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) provides a body mass index calculator on their website. 4  

According to the NHLBI, here are the BMI categories:

Underweight = <18.5

Normal weight = 18.5-24.9

Overweight = 25-29.9

Obesity= 30 or >

Whether your BMI shows you to be underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese, check with your physician before undertaking any drastic changes to your diet.

Maintaining an Active Wellness lifestyle that incorporates exercise and organic nutritional supplements is the natural way to support fitness, boost energy levels and ignite your metabolism.

Support your overall goals for a healthy body and healthy mind with an assortment of Nikken Wellness™ products. Kenzen® Vital Balance Meal Replacement Mix and Kenzen Ten4® Energy Drink Mix are just a couple!

1 Gallagher D, Visser M, Sepulveda D, Pierson RN, Harris T, Heymsfield SB. How useful is body mass index for comparison of body fatness across age, sex, and ethnic groups? Am J Epidemiol. 1996; 143:228-39.

2 World Health Organization. Obesity and overweight. Fact sheet Number 311. September 2006. Accessed January 25, 2012.

3 Flegal, K.M. & Graubard, B.I., 2009. Estimates of excess deaths associated with body mass index and other anthropometric variables. Am. J. Clin. Nutr., 89(4), pp.1213–1219.

4 The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute

 

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Sugar in Whole Foods vs. Added Sugar

Sugar is like cholesterol: there’s the good and the bad. The good news is that it’s easy to distinguish between edible sugars and those to avoid. Here are two facts to remember:

  • Sugar found in whole foods comes with vitamins, minerals, protein, phytochemicals and fiber. This naturally occurring sugar is a source of nutrition.
  • When any type of sugar is added to foods during processing, cooking or at the table, it contains calories without any nutrients or fiber. Added sugar not only offers no benefits, it actually is a source of potential physical harm.

There are three basic carbohydrates in our diets — simple sugar, starch and fiber — all consist of sugar. Simple sugars, such as sucrose, fructose and lactose, only have one or two molecules of sugar. The “sugar high” and the crash that comes with it can be vividly witnessed in some children who are usually fed healthy foods and suddenly are given so-called “treats” at a party: ice cream, cake and candy, for example. Their bodies react to the simple sugars they are not accustomed to by creating an artificial burst of energy, followed by crankiness and fatigue. This is because simple sugars shoot quickly into the bloodstream and may cause spikes in blood sugar.

Starch and fiber are complex carbohydrates because they’re made from three to hundreds of sugar molecules. During digestion, simple sugars and complex starches break down into single molecules of glucose. Since they contain multiple molecules of sugar, starches take longer to digest, so they enter the bloodstream slowly.

One teaspoon of sugar has 16 calories, a teaspoon of honey has 21 calories and there are 136 calories— including 33 grams or 8 teaspoons of sugar—from a 12-ounce can of generic soda pop. These empty calories quickly add up to potential weight gain and an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Extra sugar also may cause an uptick in triglyceride levels, which contributes to cardiovascular disease.

We should try to eat complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables and beans. Guidelines from the American Heart Association recommend that women should consume no more than six teaspoons of added sugar daily, while men should limit their added sugar to nine teaspoons. Remember that some healthy-sounding sweeteners, such as maple syrup, agave, brown sugar, molasses and honey are also added sugars.

Added sugar is found in virtually every type of processed food, which makes healthy eating challenging. One way to help eliminate added sugars from the diet is to check the ingredient listings of every packaged food item. For example, take a look at the ingredient listings of popular brands of so-called energy drinks and energy bars. Added sugar comes under the guise of maltose corn syrup, cane invert syrup, fructose, dextrose, glucose syrup, corn syrup—the list goes on and on.

Compare those commercial brands of energy drinks to the sugar-free Kenzen Ten4®! And look at the sugar content of many popular energy snacks compared to the date-sweetened Kenzen® Paleo Bar™. Nikken nutritional products are lifestyle changers.

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The Battle Against High Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a waxy substance that comes from two sources: our bodies and what we eat. Our bodies, and especially its liver, make all the cholesterol we need and circulate it through the blood, but it cannot be dissolved. It must be transported through the bloodstream by carriers called lipoproteins, which are composed of fat (lipid) and proteins. Cholesterol is also found in foods from animal sources, such as meat, poultry and full-fat dairy products. The liver produces more cholesterol when we eat a diet high in saturated and trans fats.

A tendency towards high cholesterol can be caused by a diet that is high in fat, but a person can also be genetically predisposed. In other words, high cholesterol can run in the family. Cholesterol is such a common topic of conversations these days because when it is too high, it is a proven risk for cardiac problems. As a result, cholesterol medication, commonly referred to as statins, are one of the highest sources of revenue for pharmaceutical companies.

Statins work by slowing the body’s production of cholesterol. The body produces all the cholesterol it needs by digesting food and producing new cells on its own. When this natural production is slowed, the body begins to draw the cholesterol it needs from the food you eat, lowering your total cholesterol.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC), statins also lower your body’s levels of coenzyme Q10 (“CoQ10”). As your levels go down, the side effects of statins increase. Taking CoQ10 supplements might help increase the levels in the body and reduce side effects caused by statin usage.

The most common statin side effect is muscle pain. It can be mildly uncomfortable pain or bad enough to compromise daily activities. Statins can also adversely affect the liver and kidneys. Some people may develop nausea, gas, diarrhea or constipation after taking a statin, although these side effects are relatively rare. Taking statin medication in the evening with a meal can reduce digestive side effects.

The FDA warns on statin labels that some people have developed memory loss or confusion while taking statins. These side effects reverse once you stop taking the medication. Talk to your doctor if you experience memory loss or confusion. On the other hand, there has also been evidence that statins may help with brain function — in patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s, and this continues to be studied.

If your diet is the cause of high cholesterol levels, it can be relatively easy to lower levels by making changes to daily consumption of red meat and dairy—and focusing on whole grains, fruits and vegetables. And, if you haven’t tried Kenzen Bergisterol®, you’re missing out on the powers of the bergamot fruit.  For help in maintaining levels of triglycerides, blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol that are within normal limits, clinical studies indicate that bergamot extract helps support cardiovascular health and cholesterol levels that are within the normal range.*

Cholesterol can be both good and bad, so it’s important to know what your cholesterol levels are in order to manage the health of your circulatory system. If you have high overall cholesterol and it’s not genetic, you have a good chance of controlling it via diet. For general maintenance of a healthy circulatory system, Kenzen Bergisterol® would be an excellent selection. Buy Now!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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